I've had the chance to converse with a wide variety of people who call themselves "feminists" during the course of my life. Since I started paying attention, I have noticed that I hear variations of the same phrase over and over, usually in response to some injustice I've pointed out as being done in the name of feminism: "But that's not real feminism, and he or she is not a real feminist." It begs the question. What is real feminism, and what is a real feminist?
I've done some googling to try and find out, and I will post what I found after I've compiled it. It seems, though, that it's a word that has a somewhat malleable definition. Fair enough. It's different for everyone. But surely there are some very basic ideas at the bottom of nearly everyone's definition of feminist and feminism.
That's where I'd like to begin this conversation. I would like to see how the people who call themselves feminists define their ideology, and where all of these individual feminisms merge.
As this is a very volatile subject, here are some ground rules:
1. This is not going to be a discussion about the origins of feminism, or how women were historically viewed and treated, or whether we ever needed a women's movement. None of us has a time machine. We have to live in the now, and that's what we need to talk about. The now. It's pointless to go over the history when we can't change it.
2. I am not going to moderate comments at this time, nor will I censor them. However, I would like to see this discussion remain civil. Personal attacks are a no-no. If you have a problem with someone's position, address the position, not the person. This goes for everyone.
3. There is a difference between opinion and fact. If you present an opinion as a fact, be prepared to prove it. This goes for everyone.
That's all I can think of off the top of my head. I reserve the right to add, delete, and/or change the rules. It's my blog ;)
So, feminists, why do you call yourselves that?